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Radiocarbon Dating of Fourteen Dead Sea Scrolls

  • Georges Bonani (a1), Susan Ivy (a1), Willy Wölfli (a1), Magen Broshi (a2), Israel Carmi (a3) and John Strugnell (a4)...

Abstract

The name Dead Sea Scrolls refers to some 1200 manuscripts found in caves in the hills on the western shore of the Dead Sea during the last 45 years. They range in size from small fragments to complete books from the holy scriptures (the Old Testament). The manuscripts also include uncanonized sectarian books, letters and commercial documents, written on papyrus and parchment. In only a few cases, direct information on the date of writing was found in the scrolls. In all other cases, the dating is based on indirect archaeological and paleographical evidence. To check this evidence, radiocarbon ages of 14 selected scrolls were determined using accelerator mass spectrometry. The calibrated radiocarbon ages agree well, except in one case, with the paleographic estimates or the specific dates noted on the scrolls.

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References

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